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Curly Coated Retriever

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A Calm & Affectionate Hunting Dog

Independent, protective, responsive

Curly Coated Retrievers are eager to please, tireless, and active large dogs. These athletic dogs are excellent with children, and love having a job to do. This breed is typically reserved toward strangers if not properly socialized and trained as puppies. Curly Coated Retrievers make great companions for families, hunters, active individuals, and those who enjoy the outdoors. They are brilliant active dogs that love to swim and retrieve, and physical and mental exercise every day.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:23-27 in. Weight:60-70 lb Lifespan:10-13 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
1

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
3

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
3

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Curly Coated Retrievers are a highly active dog with a passion for water. Early and consistent socialization is recommended to prevent shyness or nervousness.

Grooming: Curly Coated Retrievers have an easy care water-resistant coat. Occasional trimming and periodic bathing is all that is required.

Dental: Curly Coated Retrievers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

Curly Coated Retrievers are not your typical retriever. Calm affection, independence, and a protective nature are characteristics associated with this breed.

Positive Traits:

  • Excellent family dog, watchdog, and hunting dog

  • Energetic, active, and athletic

  • Loves to play games, especially fetch

  • Intelligent and easy to train

  • Confident, steady, and fearless

  • Loving and loyal to her owners

Negative Traits:

  • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run

  • Easily bored if not given something to do, which leads to barking and chewing

  • Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

  • Is a bit “mouthy”—likes to carry and chew things

  • Can be independent and strong-willed

Whether you are considering adding a new Curly Coated Retriever to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Curly Coated Retriever will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Curly Coated Retriever you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Curly Coated Retriever could encounter:

The Curly Coated Retriever originated in Britain around 1850 and is the oldest of the retrievers. They were bred as waterfowl retrievers and bird hunters. Curly Coated Retrievers went almost extinct in the early part of the 20th-century and are still a rare breed in the United States. They have a characteristic dark coat of small, tight, water-resistant curls that allows them to withstand cold water and thick underbrush when hunting. The Curly Coated Retriever is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 10-13 years.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Curly Coated Retriever shows signs of the following:

  • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Drooping or outward rolling eyelid, red eye(s)

  • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

  • General reluctance to run or play

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

  • Collapse while exercising

  • Any new or changing lumps or bumps

  • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse

  • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

  • Lameness with or without swelling

  • New or changing lumps or bumps, itchy or not

  • Coughing, fainting episodes, tiring easily

  • Care

    Routine Care: Curly Coated Retrievers are a highly active dog with a passion for water. Early and consistent socialization is recommended to prevent shyness or nervousness.

    Grooming: Curly Coated Retrievers have an easy care water-resistant coat. Occasional trimming and periodic bathing is all that is required.

    Dental: Curly Coated Retrievers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

  • Characteristics

    Curly Coated Retrievers are not your typical retriever. Calm affection, independence, and a protective nature are characteristics associated with this breed.

    Positive Traits:

    • Excellent family dog, watchdog, and hunting dog

    • Energetic, active, and athletic

    • Loves to play games, especially fetch

    • Intelligent and easy to train

    • Confident, steady, and fearless

    • Loving and loyal to her owners

    Negative Traits:

    • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run

    • Easily bored if not given something to do, which leads to barking and chewing

    • Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    • Is a bit “mouthy”—likes to carry and chew things

    • Can be independent and strong-willed

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Curly Coated Retriever to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Curly Coated Retriever will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Curly Coated Retriever you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Curly Coated Retriever could encounter:

  • History

    The Curly Coated Retriever originated in Britain around 1850 and is the oldest of the retrievers. They were bred as waterfowl retrievers and bird hunters. Curly Coated Retrievers went almost extinct in the early part of the 20th-century and are still a rare breed in the United States. They have a characteristic dark coat of small, tight, water-resistant curls that allows them to withstand cold water and thick underbrush when hunting. The Curly Coated Retriever is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 10-13 years.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Curly Coated Retriever shows signs of the following:

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Drooping or outward rolling eyelid, red eye(s)

    • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Collapse while exercising

    • Any new or changing lumps or bumps

    • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse

    • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

    • Lameness with or without swelling

    • New or changing lumps or bumps, itchy or not

    • Coughing, fainting episodes, tiring easily

Curly Coated Retriever Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Curly Coated Retriever breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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